Prior Approval

The prior notification procedure is the requirement for developers to notify the council to determine whether prior approval is or isn’t required.

Prior Notification

Certain developments are considered permitted development and therefore do not require planning consent, however, some of these required notifying the Local Planning Authority in order to determine whether prior approval is required.

The prior notification procedure is the requirement for developers to notify the council to determine whether prior approval is or isn’t required.

The risks and impacts of the proposals will vary depending upon the location, context and current/ existing/ proposed use with factors such as design, appearance, transport and highways impacts and flooding risks considered by the LPA.

The prior notification route is supposed to be generally straightforward, with local planning authorities making prompt decisions, however, this is not always the case, particularly for more complex schemes or appeals.

It is essential to provide the relevant information to support application and as such planning professional can provide invaluable advice and assistance to give the prior notification application the best chance of success.


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There are many different types of Prior Approval applications including (but not limited to):

Prior Approval for Change of use from

  1. Retail (A1, A2) to A3
  2. retail/takeaway to dwellinghouses
  3. retail to assembly/leisure
  4. agriculture to dwellinghouses
  5. agriculture to flexible commercial use
  6. agriculture to state funded school/nursery (D1 use)
  7. business/hotels/etc to school/nursery
  8. offices (B1) to dwellinghouses (C3)
  9. light industrial to dwellinghouses
  10. amusements/casinos (Sui Generis) to dwellinghouses
  11. retail/takeaway to offices (B1a use)

Prior Approval for new development including

  1. Building for agricultural/forestry use
  2. Private road for agricultural/forestry use
  3. Excavation/Deposit waste for agriculture
  4. Tank/Cage/Structure for use in fish farming
  5. Development for electronic communications network
  6. larger Home Extension
  7. Collection facility for a shop
  8. Roof mounted solar PV on non-domestic building

Prior approval for Temporary uses including:

  1. Temporary state funded school on previously vacant commercial land
  2. Temporary use for commercial film-making

Prior approval for demolition of a building.


Prior approval larger home extension

It is possible to undertaken larger single storey rear house extensions than would be possible under permitted development, or many local planning policies, under the Prior Approval route.

Initially brought in for a temporary period, but now made permanent, such Prior Approval larger home extension projects can provide much needed addition living space for householders.

The prior approval for larger home extensions, allows for up to 6m (for attached) or 8m for detached houses without the need for planning approval, but subject to certain limitations and conditions.

Such prior approval larger home extension applications require the local planning authority to consult with adjoining neighbours. If neighbours object to the proposals, the LPA would then determine the proposals impact on such neighbours and determine whether the works should go ahead. This can present uncertainty into the process, with identical proposals obtaining different outcomes depending on the views of the relevant neighbours. This process can be further complicated where there are multiple neighbours – for example blocks of flats or commercial properties. For example, one of our recent projects – for a simple 3-bedroom semi-detached property required notifying 60 neighbours. This is car in excess of what would normally be required however in larger cities, including London, there could be far in excess of these numbers.

Liaising with neighbours, before any Prior Approval larger home extension applications are submitted can be vital to ensuring applications aren’t turned down.

Plande have been involved with numerous applications for Prior Approval for larger home extensions.

Contact us if you are considering such an application.


Disclaimer: This page provides an introduction only and is not a definitive statement of the law and should therefore not be relied upon. The information above relates to England only. Policies across the rest of the UK may differ. Contact your Local Planning Authority for advice and confirmation before any works are carried out. All images used are for illustrative purposes only. Read the full disclaimer here.

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